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Guillermo Roux: the brushstroke bufa

The painter's production laughs and twists the silences that define us, full of ironies and nostalgies of Buenos Aires.

 Guillermo Roux  (Buenos Aires, 1929) is an Argentine painter who works on the edges of reality and representation. Although he shares some surreal premises in the free association of images, and the juxtaposition of objects,  Roux  develops an original interpretation of the surrounding world where objects have a recognizable proximity but disrupted or convoluted. A good example is the watercolor on paper heritage of the  National Museum of Fine Arts , “Interrupted Game (II Version)”, (1976), where familiar objects of any garden appear in a new logic of sinister dyes.

The bufo eye and vital memory are responsible for rescuing Argentine sensations and moods present in Roux's extensive production. Perhaps the echoes of a lustrous lost lineage, a French diplomatic great-grandfather and an aristocratic Uruguayan stancier who ended up bankrupt, hit the young  Guillermo, son of Raúl Roux , that central Argentine graphic comedian from the middle of the last century. Through his father, at the age of twelve, he began to ink in the editorial of  Dante Quinterno, the creator of  Patoruzú  . Illustration in graphic media and advertising were his source of income for several years. In this environment he meets the nationalist painter  Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós , who when he learns that he paints in an old fatherly house in Flores, recommends, “The first thing to do is get out of there and rent a workshop piece. That is a way to take over the profession” He gets a first exhibition in 1951 at the Peuser Gallery but decides to learn more about the masters of the Renaissance, one of his main influences, and he lives in Italy working and perfecting himself with the craftsman Umberto Nonni.

On his return in 1960 he obtained a job as a primary teacher in  Jujuy , where he was remembered for the founding of the influential  School  of Arts and Crafts , and continues to study contemporary movements, especially informalists and cubists. Towards the end of the decade he worked for a year in New York and began to psychoanalyze himself, something that the painter claims helped him find his style out of time, not attached to any current, and where eroticism is a driving force. Another envy to unleash his mystical imprint was the long stays in cloisters, particularly in the Home for Elders of La Recoleta — today the Recoleta Cultural Centre — where the monks had awarded him a piece in the form of a workshop.

From the 1970s  Roux  has established itself on the international market, with outstanding presences at the Biennials of St. Paul and Venice, culminating in a consecration exhibition at the Staatliche Kunsthelle Museum in Berlin in 1990, which occupies an entire floor with 170 works including paintings, collages and drawings. A year earlier, he had triumphed at the Phillips Collection in Washington. In Buenos Aires he had a well-deserved retrospective in 1996. From that moment on began the local recognition and an active production of the artist in our country, in particular with large pieces, “Woman and masks” in the Galerías Pacifico in Buenos Aires, “Homage to Buenos Aires”, in a building by César Pelli built on Avenida del Libertador, or the most recent “The Constitution Guides the People”, installed in the Chamber of Deputies of Santa Fe in 2011.

 Guillermo Roux says 

  Surrealism wants his images to be provocative and cause a sense of strangeness. On the contrary, I want those crazy encounters of objects that would normally never be together to seem as natural as possible. These unpredictable yokes are governed by the logic of form, not reality. I try to make the fruit an new entity that is logical, natural, pre-existing... naturally there is a sexual burden in that procedure; from that connection of the diverse is born, as in the sexual act, a different being... I always had the impression that the world is a puzzle,” in Beccacece, H.  The laziness of the prince. Myths, heroes and scandals of the 20th century.  Buenos Aires: South American. 1994

 Guillermo Roux says 

“It is not difficult to explain why some works by Roux  give us an irrepressible smile: it is that they seem to have captured certain aspects of a stiff solemnity of which he is affectionately mocked. There is no doubt that he is an observer who also rescues the ridiculous aspect of the human... in  Roux  sensuality is marked by nostalgia. In this, the artist is intimate and responds to a very characteristic sensitivity of the Buenos Aires environment. In it everything seems seen through memory; there, no doubt, preference is given for clothes and objects that somehow suggest a near past”, in Squirru, R . Keys to current art.  Buenos Aires: Die. 1976

Rating: 5.00/5.